Upcycling 101: How To Get Wax Out of Candle Jars
Modified: February 7, 2023
Discover the different ways on how to get wax out of candle jars, so you can repurpose them into storage containers for food, office supplies, and more!
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Candles do more than just illuminate our homes. Their soft, warm flame and soothing scents provide aromatherapy benefits, helping you feel relaxed. But candles don’t last long, and even the largest ones only last for a few days. Once a half-inch of wax is left, it is time to dispose of the candle, as it could risk damaging the furniture. Just don’t throw the glass jar container away as you can still repurpose it and turn it into a new product! You just have to know how to get wax out of candle jars.
Keep on reading to discover the different methods on how to remove candle wax from glass jars. Also, you can learn some ideas on how to upcycle or repurpose your empty candle jars!
How to Get Wax Out of a Candle Jar
Before you begin upcycling your old candle jars, you should know how to get leftover candle wax out of the jar first. Luckily, you don’t need some kind of special equipment to remove that lump of wax. Everything you need is already in your kitchen! We laid out some foolproof hacks below for you.
How to Get Wax Out of Candle Jar through Freezing
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If there’s little wax left in the candle jar, place and leave the jar in the freezer overnight. It’s one of the easiest hacks because the cool, freezing air helps shrink candle wax. Do note that this method works best on candles without a glued wick. Freezing it alone won’t be enough to lift the glue residue off. Don’t worry! You’ll find more tricks on how to get rid of both the candle wax and wick in a little while. For now, here is a quick guide on how to get wax from a candle jar using a freezer:
- Let the candle jar cool before placing it in the freezer to prevent the glass jar from cracking.
- Bring the glass candle jar and place it upright in the freezer.
- Let it sit in the freezer for a couple of hours until the candle wax freezes.
- Check if the candle wax is frozen. Do this by pushing your finger down on the candle wax. If it moves, it means it’s frozen.
- Remove the glass candle jar from the freezer, flip it down, and use a butter knife to break the candle wax into chunks.
- Clean and wash the candle jar with dish soap and water.
- If there is still a small hint of wax residue, apply baby oil to remove it.
How to Get Wax Out of Candle Jar using Boiling Water
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For glass candle jars with a wide mouth, use boiling water to melt the candle wax. This method is also effective when removing the glued metal wick in candle jars. However, this hack can get messy as splatters could occur while you’re pouring hot water into the candle jar, so prepare some towels or tissue paper. You might also need to do this on a heat-resistant surface such as granite, quartz, or slate countertops just to be safe.
- Boil water using the electric kettle.
- Grab a potholder or dish towel and place the candle jar on it.
- Pour the hot water into the glass jar, but don’t fill it as the candle wax will rise later after it melts.
- Let the hot, boiling water sit in for a couple of hours to allow the candle wax to melt.
- Remove the wax once it starts to float on top of the jar.
- Carefully drain the water to your kitchen sink. Make sure to use a sink strainer to catch the remaining candle wax and prevent clogging.
- Add more boiling water, and pop the wick out with a butter knife.
- Clean the glass candle jar with soap and water.
How to Get Wax Out of Candle Jar with an Oven
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The previous methods allow you to clean only a single glass candle jar. But what if you have lots of them? It would be a hassle to free up some space in the freezer just to put them all at once. Using boiling water won’t be a good idea either, as it takes too much time to finish the whole thing. A better and faster option would be to remove the candle wax with a wall oven. Setting the temperature to 180 degrees Fahrenheit should be enough to safely melt the leftover candle wax. Just make sure the glass candle jar does not have glitters, sequins, stickers, or other embellishments as these can cause the oven to blow up.
Here’s a safe and hassle-free guide on how to get wax out of a candle jar with an oven:
- Prepare the oven and preheat to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grab a baking sheet, line it with aluminum foil, and add parchment paper on top. This will help catch the melting wax to keep the oven clean.
- Start putting the candle jars upside down on the parchment paper. Leave some space in between to prevent the melted wax from overflowing.
- Place the baking sheet with the candle jars in the oven, and wait for 15 minutes. Monitor the candle jars, until the wax melts.
- Take out the baking sheet with a mitt, and place it on the countertop (make sure it has a heat-resistant surface).
- One-by-one, grab the candle jars with a kitchen mitt, and carefully pour the remaining melted wax onto the parchment paper.
- Allow the jars to cool, and wipe the remaining wax with a paper towel.
- Wash the jars with dish soap and water.
The Double Boiler Method
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If your soy candles are all used up, but you don’t want to throw away the glass jars, repurpose them into storage containers. You just have to get rid of the remaining candle wax first using the double boiler method. This is much better than using the oven as soy wax melts faster than other candle types. You can also use this method if you need to remove soy wax from multiple glass jars simultaneously.
Here’s how to do the double boiler method:
- Look for a large bowl, and put it in the sink.
- Place the glass candle jar inside the bowl, and pour hot water into it. Be careful not to put water inside the candle jar.
- Leave it for a couple of minutes until the candle wax softens.
- Use a butter knife to loosen the wax.
- Take out the jar from the bowl and pop out the wax.
- Clean and wash with dish soap and water.
Leftover Candle Wax: Reuse or Discard?
Now, what about the leftover candle wax? Should you just throw it away? You may, but it would be a waste to discard it as it can still be reused. Some candles still smell fragrant even after three wax melts, so why not try and make a homemade wax melt out of it? It’s easy as you only need to melt the wax using the double boiler method, store the melted wax in an ice cube mold, and freeze it until it hardens. You can even add some essential oils to make the wax melts more fragrant! The last step is to put them in small linen pouches to turn them into fragrance pouches for closets and drawers.
You can also use leftover candle wax to create wax fire starters! This would be useful during outdoor camping activities. All you need is an empty egg carton, dryer lint, and old candle wax. Consider also adding a few cinnamon sticks as their scent could help ward off mosquitos while camping outside.
Why Upcycling Candle Jars is Important
Throwing away your old, almost empty candle jars is the easier option, but this can potentially destroy the environment. Keep in mind that modern glass jars do not decompose or break down fast, unlike paper and other wood products. Glass is even worse than plastics as the latter biodegrades for just half a millennium. Meanwhile, a single glass jar takes millions of years before it naturally decomposes.
Recycling glass could be an option, but many recycling facilities do not accept candle jars that are not clean, so they will still end up in landfills. Although landfills are convenient, they are a large contributor to greenhouse gases because of methane gas, carbon dioxide, and other toxic gasses they release.
Therefore, it is worth the effort to take the time to clean and upcycle your old candle jars. Doing this will not just help the environment, but it may benefit you as well. You can use the glass candle jars for personal, creative projects. This could be a great activity for you to kill time and be productive at home.
Best Candle Jars on Amazon:
Ways to Upcycle Your Empty Candle Jars
After knowing the importance of reusing old glass candle jars, you are probably wondering right now what to do with them. Here’s an idea: decorate and turn them into ornamental accent pieces to display at home. You can also use them as functional mini vessels to hold different kinds of stuff.
Here are many other ways to upcycle your empty glass candle jars:
Make a Vase for Flowers, Succulents, and Herbs
Candle jars can be alternative containers for houseplants. You could paint the jar and embellish it with jute twine to make an exquisite vase for flowers. Use this to add natural, organic touches to the living room or bedroom.
Another idea is to repot succulents into these glass jar vessels. This could be an advantage if the succulents were to be kept indoors. They are less likely to leave water stains on the table as glass containers don’t have drainage holes, unlike regular clay pots. Just make sure to use fast-draining soil to avoid overwatering.
Some herbs can also grow in old candle jars, including parsley, rosemary, oregano, and many more! Now, you can have your indoor windowsill garden and use fresh herbs for cooking! Herbs are not only healthy, but they also bring extra spice to simple homemade dishes.
Store Food, Jewelries, Office Supplies & More
Another brilliant idea is to use old candle jars as storage containers and place them on the table to hold and organize pens and pencils. This way, you don’t have to rummage through a drawer, looking for a writing tool during emergencies.
You can also use these glass vessels to store dry, pantry food such as flour, sugar, salt, pepper, cereals, and rice! After all, glass doesn’t have a porous surface, unlike plastics, so it won’t absorb the smell or taste of food. Moreover, you can see what’s inside as glass has a transparent appearance.
Lastly, empty candle jars can be repurposed into small bins for holding jewelry and cosmetics. This will help organize the vanity area in your walk-in closet or bathroom, so you can do your beauty rituals stress-free!
Add to Your Liquor/ Cocktail Glass Collection
Love to host dinner parties with cocktails and hard liquors? Start collecting votive candles and repurpose them as drinking glasses. Votive candles have small, round glass containers about 2 inches tall, which be turned into eclectic shot glasses after the wax has been consumed. You just have to remove the wax first and deep clean them with dish soap and water before use.
Create a New DIY Candle
Since it’s a candle jar, it makes sense to use it again to hold candles. You can drop in a tealight candle and light it up in the bathroom to create a spa-like ambiance while relaxing in the bathtub. Another option is to create a DIY homemade candle! There are many ways you can do this, but it would be great to start with TikTok-inspired candles since they are the trend nowadays. Don’t worry, candle DIY videos on TikTok are easy to follow as they showcase short, simple tutorials.
Start Repurposing Your Old Candle Jars!
Instead of tossing out old candle jars in the trash, repurpose them by turning them into new functional items. These glass vessels can be useful in many different ways; they could be turned into a vase, makeup holder, or even a jar to store and preserve food. You just have to know how to get the wax out of candle jars before repurposing them, of course. Start with our foolproof hacks above to safely and easily remove stubborn candle wax from their glass vessels!